Areas of exploration (AOE)
DP Language A Language and Literature is divided into three areas:
- Readers, writers and texts
- Time and space
- Intertextuality: connecting texts.
All studies in the course should be linked effectively to one of the three AOEs. These three are not completely distinct though and there is overlap between them.
The term “author” in this course can mean more than the person who wrote a particular text. The author of a body of work is quite broad and can include a company, a media outlet, an adverting campaign, etc. Pg. 55 of the subject guide clarifies what the term “author” means in DP Language A Language and Literature
Body of work
A longer non-literary group of texts that are the same text type and written by the same author.
Central concepts (AKA key concepts)
Each DP course has a set of central concepts. Like the Areas of exploration, the concepts are ways to approach the study of texts and topics in the course. Each unit studied is linked to a particular concept.
There are eight central concepts in DP English A Language:
Context of production
How the writer of a text was influenced by his / her surroundings during the production of a text. For example, Philip K. Dick, the author of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? was influenced by the eugenics program which had fairly significant support in the U.S. up until WWII. Dick was disturbed enough by the idea of eugenics include elements of it into his novel.
Context of reception
How the reader of a text is influenced by his / her surroundings. This means that the reader may interpret a text in ways that the author did not intend. For example, Japanese readers of The Handmaid’s Tale? may see connections between gender issues in the novel and similar issues in Japanese society.
How cultural factors shape the production or reception of a text
External assessment (EA)
External assessments are marked by the IB. The teacher is not involved in the marking of external assessments.
Each unit in the course is linked to a broad global issue. Students need to choose a specific global issue to focus on in their Individual oral assessment.
Internal assessment (IA)
Internal assessments are assessments that are marked by the teacher. However, the marks are moderated by the IB. The mark the IB gives the assessment is the final mark.
Higher level (HL)
The DP Language A Language and Literature course is available at both the Higher level and Standard level. The HL course has more classroom hours than the SL course. HL students must also complete the HL essay External Assessment and the HL Paper 1 exam is longer than the SL one.
How historical events shape the production or reception of a text
(There is overlap between social, cultural, and historical context. For example, a religious movement that affected the production of a text could be viewed as social, cultural, or historical context depending on the circumstances).
The HL essay is an External Assessment in the form of an essay. Only Higher Level students write the HL essay. Students cannot write about a text in this assessment that has been used for another IA or EA assessment.
This is an Internal Assessment. It is a one-on-one oral assessment done between student and teacher. Students cannot write about a text in this assessment that has been used for another IA or EA assessment.
Individual Oral student outline form
This form is designed to help students structure their Individual Oral. It must be filled out by the student school must keep copies of it. The IB may ask a school for the form to be submitted.
The Learner portfolio is a mandatory element of DP Language A Language and Literature. During the course students will develop the knowledge and skills necessary for the IB assessments in the Learner portfolio. Pages 25 and 26 of the Subject Guide provide additional information.
Standard level Paper 1 is a text analysis of one previously unseen text. Higher level paper 1 is a text analysis of two previously unseen texts.
This exam is the same for HL and SL students. It consists of four general questions. Students pick one of the questions and answer it about two literary works studied. Students cannot write about a text in this assessment that has been used for another IA or EA assessment.
How social factors shape the production or reception of a text
Standard level (SL)
The DP Language A Language and Literature course is available at both the Higher level (HL) and Standard level (SL). The SL course has fewer classroom hours than the HL course. SL students do not do the HL essay External Assessment. Also, the SL Paper 1 exam is shorter than the HL one.
The Subject Guide defines “text” in extremely broad terms (pg. 20). Texts in this course can include anything that can you can get information from which could include novels, an encyclopedia entry, a tweet, film, photo, song, transcript, etc.
The IB definition of a “work” is a literary text. This definition also includes a group of texts by the same author in the case of shorter texts such as poems and short stories.